Vital Choice does not knowingly sell any genetically modified foods.
And, like most Americans, we believe that genetically modified foods (GMOs) should be labeled.
This bill would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the distribution and labeling of GMOs.
Unfortunately, the FDA's record on regulation of GMOs is very poor, and the bill would do four other bad things:
- Allow voluntary labeling of foods that contain GMOs.
- Block the FDA from requiring mandatory GMO food labeling.
- Prevent states from requiring more stringent labeling of foods that contain GMOs.
- Allow food companies to continue to make misleading "natural” claims for foods that contain GMOs.
Accordingly, many opponents are calling the bill passed by the house the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act.
Three states – Connecticut, Maine and Vermont – have passed stringent GMO labeling laws, with Vermont's slated to take effect in July of 2016.
Those state laws and any others enacted in the future would lose effect if the DARK Act is passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by the President.
Big agribusiness backs the bogus labeling law
Giant agricultural and food and beverage companies back the labeling law passed by the U.S. House.
They've lobbied Congress heavily and spent millions to fight state-by-state labeling mandates before Vermont's precedent-setting GMO labeling law takes effect in July 2016.
Unless it's stopped by a federal ban, Vermont's law will have far-reaching implications for the labeling of GMO food products in the U.S.
Importantly, once Vermont's law takes effect in July, it will trigger Connecticut's and Maine's own GMO labeling mandates.
Consumers have a right to know
Opinion polls show that most Americans want to know if a food contains GMOs.
Sadly, both sides of the GMO debate have distorted the evidence to make their case.
Some GMO opponents spin the facts to suggest that the technology is inherently dangerous.
But conventional hybridization methods actually produce far greater, less predictable changes to plant genomes … sometimes with toxic effects.
On the other hand, biotech companies and big agribusiness firms consistently downplay two very real concerns:
- Lax pre-and post-market safety screening of proposed GMO crops by the FDA
- The health and environmental risks associated with herbicide-resistant GMO crops like Roundup-Ready corn and soy
Regardless of where anyone stands in the scientific issues, consumers have a right to decide whether they want to consume GMO ingredients.
According to a new national poll – commissioned by a coalition of consumer and environmental groups – 89 percent support of mandatory GMO labeling.
GMO labeling is supported by large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents, as well as people with favorable or unfavorable views of GMOs.
Overall, 3 out of 4 of respondents were strongly in favor of labeling, and would like to see the labels in an easy to read format.
Importantly, labeling is supported by large majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents, and by people with favorable or unfavorable opinions about GMOs.
Language in the DARK Act would allow food companies to meet their labeling obligations by printing a QR code on their packages, which can be scanned with a smart phone.
In that case, only people with smart phones equipped with a QR app – and the time to scan these codes and read the resulting webpage – would be able to see whether a product contained GMOs.
The same national poll produce these findings:
- Almost nine in 10 (88%) would prefer a printed GMO label on the food package rather than use a smartphone app to scan a QR code.
- Just 17% say they have ever scanned a bar code to get information, and only 16% sat they have ever scanned a "QR” code.
- If bar codes were used, more than 80 percent say food companies should not be allowed to use the app to gather information about shoppers.
In short, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act truly deserves the name given it by opponents: the DARK Act.
We urge you to help stop it in its tracks!